By Donaia De Marco
July is a month that speaks of independence…a word that dominates our American consciousness. To us independence is synonymous with freedom, and many of us can be fierce about our freedom. Ironically, we are so enamoured with our independence that it interferes with our relationships especially our most intimate ones. As our love takes us deeper and deeper into Oneness, we are confronted with the abandonment of self and we start to balk. What a scary thing it is to be faced with annihilation, even on levels other than physical…when we don't feel we have original thoughts anymore or when we don't feel anything but confusion\depression…when we yearn for escape…release…freedom.
So, we jump back into a self we have structured from past experience. We try to do it like we did it before! But, then after a while, the monotony hits us in the face…yes, again...same old, same old. We don't like to be bored. One thing about growing up in America with the opportunity to choose as well as the means to carry out that choice is that more and more of us are not willing to stay down or stagnant too long. So, we go exploring again. We like new frontiers…butta bing, butta bang …we're off on another toot.
We run around free and independent, yet somehow lonely although we may be "connected" to someone. Oh, we are not sooo lonely as to do much about it except to dabble in bits and pieces or perhaps dive into heartless substitutions of excitement fueled by anxiety and compulsion. In a novel I recently read, Snow Falling on Cedars, a Japanese mother is trying to explain the difference between their Asian culture and our white culture. The mother says, "We bend our heads, we bow and are silent because we understand that by ourselves we are nothing at all…dust in a strong wind. All the while we seek union with the Greater Life. The hakiyen believe his aloneness is everything. His separateness is the foundation of his existence. He seeks and grasps, seeks and grasps for his separateness." She does not paint a pretty picture, but we can recognize the truth of this seeking and grasping at straws. Remember how often we like to think, "I'm glad I'm not like that" or "I'd never do anything like that" or "I'm so much better (or worse) than they are." Our separateness is what makes us stand out as we think of the masses and how easily they are herded into the pens of culture, conformity, or mediocrity.
And yet deep inside, we long for union and unity, harmony and beauty. We do go on vacation. We do melt in moments of another's compassion; we do sail away on mystical perceptions of sights and sound, and sometimes we do find ourselves in the flow of a groovy stream of events that empower and enlighten us. But somehow we get serious again and put our noses back to the grindstone. Perhaps some incident throws us back into survival mode and the awareness of our separateness, so we begin the process all over again…independent, independent, independent… alone, alone, alone…lonely…longing. Suddenly, the urge to merge becomes a force in our lives, and we run around getting our jollies with persons, places or things. But what happens when we can't stop the madness of trying this, trying that; seeing this, hearing that; going here and going there; building this and down-sizing that? We do keep ourselves busy…we independent Americans. How often do we stop long enough to plug in…to appreciate the energy from Source pulsing through our being? How often do we relax in the here and now? Glenda Green in her book, Love Without End, says, "Unity happens when it's the felt truth of a direct experience. It is touching, comforting, and uplifting."
We plug in sporadically with our mystical moments, but we unplug whenever we feel we are losing ourselves or when we enter new territory, or when the existing structures we surround ourselves with begin to change, dissolve, and lose importance. Green, through the medium of Jesus, says, "Unity is dynamic and is forever forming into greater potential." What part of that line are we so afraid of? The "dynamic" part rattles our control issues and the "greater potential" part penetrates our low self-esteem. Am I capable or worthy enough? Every time we find ourselves in an experience of Oneness, we don't come out the same as when we entered. We are changed because of the inter-dynamics of the experience. The ironic part is that in order to truly engage something or someone, we are completely ourselves, with full integrity, and yet we are also open to "whatever". In the engagement, we play honestly and kindly, appreciating the diversity and the blend. On a cops and robbers movie on TV the other night, the young Baldwin brother says to a man chained to him, "My daddy taught me that life's got a rhythm. All's ya need to do is find the rhythm." Now there's a certain truth to that.
When we can reconcile the seeming opposite rhythms of waxing and waning, delving and emerging, movement and rest, we'll be much freer to experiment with infinite and eternal Oneness. When we can recognize the structures we have securely built around us as illusions of safety, we will be better able to take our independence to interdependence…that moment when the chord is struck, and it resonates in soothing harmony, each note vibrating from a place of perfect integrity. Yes, we are changed by the experience…hallelujah! Maybe, some little bit of us has vibrated off, so to speak…but something new is getting born.
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